The City of Santa Barbara sent out ballots to 45,000 registered voters early last week for the Nov. 8 mail-only election, but officials said Thursday they have been fielding complaints from residents about delayed delivery.
“Unfortunately, we got some calls today that some people got them late,” clerk services manager Cyndi Rodriguez told Noozhawk, adding that the city is working with the U.S. Postal Service to address the situation.
The ballots were mailed Oct. 10 from the Storke Road Post Office. In this election, voters will be choosing from among 10 candidates running for three open seats on the City Council.
Incumbents include Dale Francisco,Randy Rowse and Michael Self. Challengers are Sebastian Aldana Jr., Byrne, Cruzito Cruz, Iya Falcone, Jerry Matteo, Cathy Murillo and Deborah Schwartz, who leads the pack in fundraising so far with $61,638.62 to date, according to campaign documents.
The last day to register for the election is Monday. Registration forms can be picked up at City Hall at 735 Anacapa St., the County Elections Division at 4440-A Calle Real and post offices, banks, the Department of Motor Vehicles and other public buildings.
All ballots, even those received late, must be received by 8 p.m. Nov. 8 — postmarks will not be accepted.
“We literally have to receive the ballot,” Rodriquez said.
Ballots can be mailed in or delivered in person to City Hall. Business hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. alternating Fridays.
Ballots can also be taken to the following drop-off centers from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 5 or from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 8:
» Braille Institute, 2031 De la Vina St.
» Santa Barbara Municipal Tennis Center, 1414 Park Place
» Grace Lutheran Church, 3869 State St.
» Pilgrim Terrace, 649 Pilgrim Terrace Drive
» City Hall, 735 Anacapa St.
Rodriquez said that about 4,100 ballots had been received as of Thursday.
In November 2009, Santa Barbara’s mail-in-only election garnered 49.6 percent voter turnout.
“(This) is very well, so we’re hoping to meet that,” Rodriquez said.
She estimates that mail-in-only elections save the city about $50,000.
Residents with questions about their ballot or the election can call city officials at 805.564.5309, or click here.
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— Noozhawk intern Alexa Shapiro can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and@NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.